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Should My Child Call My Boyfriend, Dad?

Single Moms Talk / November 6, 2012

Dear Sexy Single Mommy,

I am a divorced single mom and I have been dating my current boyfriend for about a year and half.  He and my 8-year-old son have a great relationship. My ex husband is still involved in my son’s life but because we now live in another state, they don’t see each other often but speak on the phone regularly.  My boyfriend is almost a daily fixture in my son’s life and acts like a father figure to him.  Do you think it’s okay if my son calls him Dad?


Dear Confused,

As a single mom, myself, I think that this is a very touchy subject.  Although I think that it is terrific that you have found a man who is willing to be a part of your son’s life, I don’t think that it is appropriate for your son to call him, “Dad,” especially when you aren’t married to this man.  I also think that since his father is still a part of his life, he already has a “dad.”  Your son should continue to call your boyfriend by his first name and if you two decide to get married, then and only then, should your son call him dad.

The Sexy Single Mommy

Do you think it is appropriate for a child to call their parents partner mom or dad?

If you were the other parent, would you be upset if your child called you Ex’s partner mom or dad?

What advice would you give to “Confused?”

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Ty Knighten
Ty Knighten knows a thing or two about relationships and dating. A single mom from Calif., Ty decided to turn her experiences in love and relationships into a blog. Written with plenty of sass, her mission is to help women empower themselves to realize love, success and confidence through her articles. She writes about dating and relationships from the perspective of a single mom but adds insights that will help women and men as they maneuver through the confusing world of dating and relationships. You can reach her on Twitter @UHeardMeRight, on Facebook at The Sexy Single Mommy or connect with her on Google+ and Instagram at chocoty.

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on November 6, 2012

I agree with you. I actually have a client that allows her child to call her boyfriend dad. The child’s father is not in his life. However, my client and her boyfriend have an on again/off again relationship. My concern would be the child have yet another “dad” walk out of his life.


on November 7, 2012

I’m not in the situation but I think to a point, children should be allowed to call their mother’s partner or boyfriend what they feel comfortable with. I wouldn’t want to tell my child to call someone who is not her biological father “dad” even if her father were not in her life if she didn’t want to call him that. I wouldn’t even refer to another man as her father to her.

    on November 7, 2012


on November 8, 2012

This is a touchy subject, I am a step dad and I think that a child should call the father figure what he or she chooses. I use to not feel this way, but if a child calls a man father, then that is who he is to the child. Let’s say that the child does not call him father, they will still feel that way in their hearts.

on December 14, 2012

I totally agree with you but it is funny how many women introduce their children to different men with o regards of the affects that it will have on their kids

on November 24, 2015

Can someone please tell me if I’m over dramatic, my new boyfriend introduced his ex’s son to me as his son, I found out thru other sources he wasn’t, Now he says he love the child, the child calls him dad, the relationship was long etc. The ex is and was then a married woman, the child has a dad in his life which is the ex’s husband, and the still married mom also has a boyfriend in the child’s life too currently. Why is my boyfriend even still in that equation?, am I a monster for feeling like the relationship is over so should my boyfriend “playing daddy” remember my boyfriend and the mother were never married. Help I’m so overwhelmed

    on November 26, 2015

    Hey Quitta. I am overwhelmed by reading this. So let me get this right, your boyfriend claims his ex’s son, who he was with while she was married and he was the other man but the son’s dad is in his life, so the son has a dad, a step dad and your boyfriend? Chile, I am lost. How old is the son? Depending on the time that he was in this young man’s life, I can see where he could be considered a “dad” of sorts.
    If this young man is a teenager and your boyfriend can communicate directly with him and not have to go through his ex, I wouldn’t worry about it. The relationship with his ex seems to have been overly complicated but I wouldn’t trip about the son.

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